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SiLC launches Eyeonic Mini machine vision system

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SiLC Technologies, a silicon photonics company working on machine vision, has announced the launch of its Eyeonic Vision System Mini (Eyeonic Mini) at CES 2024, in Las Vegas. The system integrates a full multi-channel FMCW LiDAR on a single silicon photonics chip and an integrated FMCW LiDAR System-on-Chip (SoC), and the company says it sets a new industry benchmark in precision.

The Eyeonic Mini utilises the purpose-built digital LiDAR processor SoC, the iND83301 (“Surya”) developed by indie Semiconductor. According to SiLC, the Eyeonic Mini delivers an order of magnitude greater precision than existing technologies while being one-third the size of last year’s model. This builds upon the company’s first commercial FMCW LiDAR system, the Eyeonic Vision System, founded on an integrated silicon photonics chip and designed specifically for machine vision applications.

SiLC’s Eyeonic Vision Chip, central to the system, amalgamates all essential photonics functions into a coherent vision sensor, delivering a compact solution that meets demands for performance, affordability and low power consumption. The system incorporates a 4-channel FMCW LiDAR chip, complemented by indie’s innovative Surya SoC, which SiLC says equips robots with sub-millimetre depth precision from distances exceeding 10 metres.

This level of precision could open new doors in automation, particularly in warehouse logistics and AI machine vision applications. For instance, SiLC says that AI-driven palletising robots equipped with the Eyeonic Mini can fully view and interact with pallets, optimising package placement and loading onto trucks safely and efficiently.

Robotics company Dexterity is working on incorporating SiLC technology into their robot autonomy platform. “At Dexterity, we focus on AI, machine learning and robotic intelligence to make warehouses more productive, efficient and safe,” remarked CEO Samir Menon. “We are excited to partner with SiLC to unlock LiDAR for the robotics and logistics markets. Their technology is a revolution in depth sensing and will enable easier and faster adoption of warehouse automation and robotic truck load and unload.”

Mehdi Asghari, CEO of SiLC Technologies, said: “Our FMCW LiDAR platform aims to enable a highly versatile and scalable platform to address the needs of many applications. At CES this year, we’re demonstrating our long-range vision capabilities of over two kilometres. With the Eyeonic Mini we’re showcasing our high precision at shorter distances. Our FMCW LiDAR solutions, at short or long distances, bring superior vision to machines to truly enable the next generation of AI-based automation.”

Chet Babla, SVP of strategic marketing at indie Semiconductor, added: “The Eyeonic Mini represents the next evolution of our close collaboration with SiLC. The combination of our two unique technologies has created an industry-leading solution in performance, size, cost, and power. This creates a strong foundation for our partnership to grow and address multiple markets, including industrial automation and automotive.”

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